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Senior Spotlight: Jake Balis

Jake Balis has carved an amazing legacy at Penn High School. He was recently named the National High School Strength & Conditioning Coaches Association National Male Athlete of the Year. A star running back for Penn’s Football team, he has committed to Vanderbilt University for football.

During his time at Penn, Balis participated in Football, Track and Field, Lacrosse, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and is a member of the Student-Athlete Leadership Council. Balis also holds many weightlifting records at Penn including overall weight moved, overall body weight coefficient, and the all time front squat record at 445 pounds.

“I will forever appreciate the endless amount of support and effort that was put into developing me as a person and an athlete throughout my four years at Penn,” Balis said. “It didn’t matter if it was a coach that I talked to every day, or a coach that I talked to once a month, everyone treated me with the same respect on a daily basis.  Penn High School possesses a plethora of A-Class coaches who will constantly go out of their way in order to make you the best athlete and human being that you can be,” Balis said.

Although it is time for him to continue his football career at Vanderbilt, his legacy will remain.

Balis has this to say to upcoming students.

“My piece of advice is quite cliche, but it would truly be to work as hard as possible,” Balis said. “Once you drill into your head the mindset that nobody will outwork you, it most definitely comes to fruition.  Entering high school, very few people would have expected me to turn out the way I did and achieve the accomplishments that I have, but hard work and continuous dedication proved to be my edge against my competitors.  Always make sure that you are giving your best effort in everything that you do, and strive to get 2 percent better each and every day.  If you can manage that, the success will come with time.”

As Balis continues his Education/Athletics at Vanderbilt, he will study Engineering Science and earn his Degree and enter the field of Aerospace Engineering.


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